Our appreciation of Poet, Novelist and Dream Catcher editor, Helen Cadbury
It is with great sadness that the Editorial Team of Dream Catcher records the death from cancer of Helen Cadbury, who had joined us less than a year ago as an insightful reader of prose submissions. A short-story writer herself, poet, and a successful novelist, Helen brought a keen sensibility to the task. Her third novel is due out soon, followed by a poetry collection from Valley Press and a collection of prose pieces from Stairwell Books. She leaves an enormous gap in our personal and professional lives. Dream Catcher publisher, Rose Drew, was the closest of the team to her, and writes the appreciation below.
As a poet, editor and events manager in York, of course I’ve known Helen Cadbury for years. We’d meet at various artsy things and chat about our ‘crazy’ mothers; our political views; writing. The past few years we chatted via Facebook, that scourge of modern life and yet indispensable convenience, and met up a handful of times. How I loved that such a successful, brilliant writer was now overseeing the short story selections I passed on to John!
My dearest praise from Helen, written with matter-of-fact kindness like all she ever did, or said, was “I trust your short story brain from doing the Dream Catcher stuff: I agreed every single time I think, and never let myself look at your ticks until I'd got to the end, it was uncanny.” Helen had that gift: the ability to be kind, and yet pragmatic, and to wrap it all in open-hearted intelligence. Helen was also the sort of author who hits the truly Big Time, and she was on her way, with the Sean Denton stories. Breakfast with Helen was cheerfully frenetic: “Oh! Just had another idea… Sean could visit York… Oh and then! Another idea...” and she’d scribble a note. As a friend says, Helen was ‘brimming with ideas and enthusiasm’.
My gratitude at having known Helen at all, and being witness to her genius (with people, with words) is balanced with my sorrow by her oh-so-early departure. She leaves behind two sons, a husband, many friends, and innumerable fans. A bright spark has glowed, flared, and departed.
Rose Drew, July 2017